Winter sunrise at Hollow Rock on Lake Superior
Calling all nature-loving outdoor explorers
Two major geographic features define Minnesota’s importance on the North American continent: the Mississippi River headwaters and the shoreline of Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake. The Mighty Mississippi springs from a small spring-fed lake in Itasca State Park and winds its 700-mile path through Minnesota before flowing south to the Gulf of Mexico. Visitors can walk a stone path across the source of the Mississippi to ensure a long and happy life, according to American Indian legend.
From Duluth to the Canadian border, the 150-mile Highway 61 along Lake Superior’s coast has been named an All-American Road for being “a destination unto itself.” A multitude of state parks, scenic overlooks, waterfalls and the Split Rock Lighthouse provide fantastic photo opportunities – whether you’re traveling by auto, bicycle or motorcycle or hiking the North Shore scenic trail.
Two national monuments – Grand Portage on Minnesota’s northeastern tip and Pipestone National Monument in its southwestern corner – preserve the state’s rich American Indian and fur-trapping heritage. Twenty-six state historic sites document the growth of Minnesota, including the boyhood home of aviator Charles Lindbergh, the estate of the Mayo brothers (of Mayo Clinic fame) and the original Main Street of author Sinclair Lewis.
Outdoor recreation opportunities include Voyageurs National Park, the only water-based national park in the country, where exploring by boat is preferred; and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a region with 1,300 lakes where motorboats are prohibited and travel is by canoe. Additionally, 76 state parks, 58 state forests and two national forests provide camping, hiking, biking and scenic driving experiences for visitors of all ages.
In the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, Mall of America, the largest enclosed shopping and entertainment complex in the U.S., offers plenty of excitement for all ages. With 520 stores, 50 restaurants, 14 movie theaters, SEALIFE Aquarium, Nickelodeon Universe Amusement Park, free live concerts and events, attractions and salons, Mall of America entertains more than 42 million visitors each year. And there’s no sales tax on clothing or shoes in Minnesota, making it a shoppers’ paradise!
Scores of theaters, museums and galleries define the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington area as an arts haven whose influence extends throughout the U.S. and the world. The Minnesota music scene is legendary, launching such native superstars as Bob Dylan and Prince. The Walker Art Center is one of the nation’s top modern art institutes, and the Weisman Art Center, designed by Frank Gehry, sparkles on the University of Minnesota’s Mississippi riverfront campus.
Minnesota visitors have many diverse attractions available to them. Cruise on a Mississippi riverboat, canoe in an unspoiled wilderness, attend a world-class concert or enjoy watersports and golfing at a north woods resort. Experience why Minnesota is renowned as a land blessed by Mother Nature!